Some Of The People You Went To High School With

Some of the people you went to high school with never did drugs or drank. They ate French fries dipped in milkshakes, threw rolls of toilet papers over trees, believed in Jesus, and dated someone named Cynthia or Erin or Jack or Jordan. They never had sex but they rubbed each other’s bodies one night and felt bad about it so they stopped. These people graduated and either got married and had children and continued to love Jesus and French fries dipped in milkshakes, or they went completely insane. They became an alcoholic and rubbed their bodies on anyone who would let them. The good apples in high school either continue to be pure or become completely rotten. It’s what you get for believing in something before you even knew what you wanted.

Some of the people you went to high school with were very popular. They were blessed with never having to endure an awkward stage (that would come later at 26 though) and they had lots of bad sex in cars to the radio. They wore Hollister or Abercrombie and went to bonfires and played sports and drank vodka from a thermos in class. These people were the teen dream, the chosen ones. But you knew that it was going to be awful for them later when life actually mattered. No one gets to skip an awkward phase. Everyone must get theirs eventually, and the popular kids decayed like strange fruit hanging from a tall tree. They graduated and became fat or got someone pregnant or became pregnant. They didn’t know this would happen. They didn’t know that being popular in high school usually turns out to be a curse later in life. They might know it now though.

Some of the people you went to high school with were nerds. They played Dungeons and Dragons and were fat and knew all the answers to the AP History exam. Beneath all of the know-it-all exterior, they were masturbating to porn late at night and praying to get accepted by the very people they despised. The nerds continue to be nerds after high school. They don’t go through a She’s All That transformation and bang supermodels. But they do get accepted. They get a wonderful group of friends and discover that the world values and needs nerds so they’re going to be just fine. Phew.

Some of the people you went to high school with were just like you. They liked the same movies, clothes and music, and you spent all of your time together wandering down the hallways and going over to each other’s houses. You felt closer to them than you did your own family. You took photos together to establish that you were each other’s best friends and planned your futures accordingly. It was such a beautifully dark time to be close with someone. On one hand, you were so open and loving. You wanted to create your own world with your friends and get lost in conversations and go on adventures. On the other hand, you were just such…an asshole. After you graduated, the cocoon was broken and you either remained close or didn’t. Regardless of the outcome though, you will always have a bond with them. You will always flinch a little bit when you hear their name.

These people will all serve as reminders of something you will never get back. And when you go to the ten-year reunion, it will feel like you’re being punched in the stomach over and over again. Sometimes you just don’t want to see people become what they are. Sometimes you want to preserve them as the nerd, as the Christian, as The Best Friend, as the jock. It just makes everything a little bit easier. TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

Read Here

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  • MP80909

    Beautiful.

  • http://twitter.com/walterdavis walter davis

    god i love you

  • Zen?

    While I’m still in high school, I accept all of this as being part of my not-so-distant future. This is a very truthful look at the people in high school, and for that I thank you.

  • indi

    this is why only three people attended our ten year reunion.  and also why i was not one of them.

  • indi

    this is why only three people attended our ten year reunion.  and also why i was not one of them.

  • The Egypster

    “strange fruit hanging from tall trees”

    You realize the Billie Holiday song is about lynchings in the American South? Maybe you should rewrite that (unless you think that popular high school kids are exactly like black Americans suffering in the Jim Crow era.)

    • Anonymous

      THANK YOU.

      I was happily reading along until I got to that sentence. I couldn’t quite believe it.
      Needless to say, I stopped reading the article.

      HOW FUCKING LAME.

    • vntlb

      Your comment finally made me realize how many readers on TC are such whiners.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iamahmad Ahmad Radheyyan

    I LOVE YOU RYAN MARRY ME

  • ani reina

    @fa5c76db149b90a5b45968707a5b0abf:disqus I graduated in 2005 and I have to agree with just about everything in this. Honestly, don’t even buy a senior year book. You’ll only remember your close friends anyway and they will prob fade after junior year of college. 

    • guest

      My mother made me buy the yearbook.  IT’S WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

        Yeah, initially you think it’s worthless to both buy the yearbook and have your photo in it.  As time progresses and high school memories become more distant, you probably will be happy you bought it.
        My high school, which has a long history going back to the days of Lizzie Borden, is cool enough to have put all our yearbooks from 1898 to the present online http://www.sailsinc.org/durfee/yearbooks.htm  I’m the geek from 2003! 

      • guest

        I also graduated in 2003.  Are you happy you bought yours yet?  

      • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

        Yeah, I am.  Every now and then we look at the photos and say, “Remember her? She was a tramp.”  “Remember him?  He was so gay.  Can’t believe he’s married.”  It makes for good Wednesday evenings.

      • guest

        Eh, I just stalk all the surprise-nongays on Facebook.

      • guest

        Eh, I just stalk all the surprise-nongays on Facebook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    I graduated in 2003 and was, for the most part, in the first group you described.  Even though physically I’m separated from many of my closest friends, who’ve gone on to become doctors at Brown, NYU, URI, etc., they’re still my closest friends…despite the awkwardness, angst, drama and cruelty that came with high school, overall it was a great time for me, but I’m happy to have moved on and retained the most supportive people in life the school had to offer. 

  • http://twitter.com/wesleethomas Weslee Janisen

    Your nostalgic posts are my favorite.

  • Maggie

    “a beautifully dark time to be close with someone”

    perfect!

  • Guest

    I have only just ‘graduated’ and already I see this as true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/seikel Steve Seikel

    I was all these things. Including popular.  My life is great.

    • Kieran

      O congrats your also the douche then

  • Anonymous

    Ryan what if you blow up from all your wisdom and nostalgia.

  • christine

    ryan you make me so happy

  • Kevin Shields

    I guess my high school was different. I was a major theatre nerd, openly gay, played no sports in high school and won Homecoming King my senior year. My best friend who was also openly gay, captain of the girls varsity soccer team won Homecoming Queen.
    I never got the sense of there being the “popular kids” and the “nerds” or the “jesus goody two shoes”. There was, however, a pretty sharp dichotomy between those who took AP classes and those who didn’t. I remember the kids who partied and drank and smoked pot and did drugs the most were us AP kids.

  • Kevin Shields

    I guess my high school was different. I was a major theatre nerd, openly gay, played no sports in high school and won Homecoming King my senior year. My best friend who was also openly gay, captain of the girls varsity soccer team won Homecoming Queen.
    I never got the sense of there being the “popular kids” and the “nerds” or the “jesus goody two shoes”. There was, however, a pretty sharp dichotomy between those who took AP classes and those who didn’t. I remember the kids who partied and drank and smoked pot and did drugs the most were us AP kids.

    • guest

      You still feel superior for being in AP classes?  Post-high school?  How tragic.

      • Kevin Shields

        Yes, I feel very superior. So superior because partying, smoking, and doing drugs is the surest sign of superiority. 

      • Kevin Shields

        Yes, I feel very superior. So superior because partying, smoking, and doing drugs is the surest sign of superiority. 

    • guest

      You still feel superior for being in AP classes?  Post-high school?  How tragic.

    • Guest

      You theater freaks give the rest of us nerds a bad name.  It’s no wonder why your gay.

  • juliajean

    This sounds like a good monologue for a screenplay. 

  • DARKSTAR

    Fries dipped in milkshakes are really good.  Just want to be a fry dipping myself in a milkshake called life…

    • DARKSTAR

      But yeah, I guess I’m following the trajectory of paragraph 1.  Ugh, whatevs you make me sound so obnoxious.

  • erin

    My name is Erin.. should I be ashamed ?

  • guess

    pointless as the high school social scene.

  • happinessisawarmgun

    Powerful.

  • SaraJane

    “It’s what you get for believing in something before you even knew what you wanted.” – :)

  • Tingatron

    ever consider that sometimes popular people are popular just because they’re pretty damn awesome? I’ve seen it happen, and I’m tired of hearing people bash the prom king just cause you didn’t get to be him.

    That being said, loved the rest.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-G-Shields/100001899310999 David G. Shields

      spoken like someone who peeked in high school, I knew i could never be that vanilla and thank god

  • Charles

    MY favorite part of this essay is the super lame responses from everyone who gives a shit about who they were in high school and try to rationalize how they weren’t actually a jerk.
    no no no, wait guys, it’s different. i’m more complicated – i was a jerk and a prick.
    NO ONE CARES!
    lovely writing, though.

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